The best Dubai events and other things to do in Dubai in November, including deals at Dubai restaurants, bars and spas, cinema, concerts and festivals.
Finally, after months of ever-so-slightly restrictive weather, we can absolutely guarantee November will be perfect. It really the Get Outdoors time of year and traditionally a month for a raft of exciting new openings. So what's stopping you? Check out our list below and be inspired to make the most of November.
Brian Wilson - the genius behind American rock band The Beach Boys and co-founder of the band – is set to perform in Dubai on Thursday November 3.
Wilson wrote and produced the legendary group's album Pet Sounds, which is widely considered one of the greatest albums ever made. And his appearance in the UAE comes on the fiftieth anniversary of its release. In fact, so important is the album, it has been preserved by the Library of Congress in the US for being ‘culturally and aesthetically significant.’
Wilson wrote some of the band’s biggest hits, including Surfin’ U.S.A., I Get Around, and California Girls, and after the band split, he went on to enjoy a long solo career.
Wilson's newest album, his eleventh as a solo record, No Pier Pressure, was released in 2015, and featured guest appearances from other members of The Beach Boys as well as Zooey Deschanel and Nate Ruess from the band Fun.
He’s currently in the middle of a Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary Tour, which has seen him play all over the US and Europe, before his gig here in Dubai.
Fans can expect to hear all of his greatest hits as well as some performances of rarer tracks. Please note Children Under 12 can attend in the seating area when accompanied by an adult
Dubbed the ‘happiest 5K on the planet’, the Color Run is a mix between India’s Holi festival (the festival of colours) and a half-an-hour jog with thousands of friends.
The event isn’t new to Dubai but this year’s Color Run is part of The Tropicolor World Tour, whch brings a fun and fresh Caribbean twist to post-run celebrations.
Participants can look forward to the island-themed Finish Festival at the ‘Rainbow Beach’, which will feature steel drummers, dancing and massive color throws.
Each Color Runner will receive a brand new Tropicolor Race Pack complete with t-shirt, headband and flower lei.
More than 34,000 Color Runners took part in the past three Dubai events and this year event is set to be just as popular.
According to the organizers, it’s a perfect event for first-time runners and anyone looking to lead a healthier lifestyle.
A limited number of Deluxe Packs are available for Color Runners this year, starting from Dhs240 and including special perks such as VIP parking and tropical-themed merchandise such as party sunglasses.
Limited early bird tickets are now on sale for Dhs140, with kids aged four and under running for free.
You can buy them online on www.thecolorrun.ae or at Adventure HQ stores in JBR, Times Square Centre and Galleria Mall in Dubai, and Yas Mall and Dalma Mall in Abu Dhabi.
$1 from every registration will be donated to Friends of Cancer Patients.
Boyzlife is one of the latest supergroups, made up of Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden, members of ’90s boy bands Boyzone and Westlife. “We were going to call ourselves West Zone,” begins McFadden, “but there’s a car park at the airport already named that.”
Both the bands were some of the most successful in British music history, having sold millions of records worldwide, and although Duffy and McFadden have also enjoyed success on their own, they recently decided to join forces and tour the world. On Thursday November 10, they’ll be performing at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort in JBR, before playing in Abu Dhabi the next day and going on to tour Europe. But the show won’t just be a concert. It’s more autobiographical, with a mix of songs and stories, and as well as singing, Duffy says he’s looking forward to “telling people how we dealt with the situation at the time, standing on stage and performing in front of 100,000 people.”
The pair have been friends for years and have performed together on stage in the past, but they’ve never done anything like this. “Neither band is active at the moment, so we just felt that it would be a nice idea for us to get on stage, talk about our experiences in the music industry over the past 20 years and then sing some of the hits we’ve had,” says Duffy, of the songs that include Boyzone’s six UK No.1s, including When the Going Gets Tough and Words, and Westlife’s 13 UK No.1s including Uptown Girl and World Of Our Own.
Something they’re looking forward to most is the chance to perform songs they wouldn’t normally be able to – songs by a rival boy band. “Westlife weren’t renowned for up-tempo songs,” says McFadden. “Most of our songs were ballads, so Boyzone’s Picture of You is one of my favourite songs to perform in the show. It’s just so high energy.” Duffy, meanwhile, can’t help enthusing about Flying Without Wings. “It’s just one of the best pop songs of all time. Regardless of who sings it, that really is an amazing song.”
When tickets for the tour went on sale earlier this year, they sold out in just six hours, which the guys couldn’t believe. “Tickets went on sale in the morning and we were out playing golf. When we got a phone call saying the tour had sold out, we thought it was a joke,” says McFadden. “We were blown away by the support,” Duffy adds.
Boyzlife will be on tour until just before Christmas and plans are already afoot for a series of shows in Australia and Asia next year. And they show no signs of stopping. “Myself and Brian have been talking about the possibility of recording new songs,” says Duffy. “And there’s interest from TV companies for us to do our own show.
“We love performing, we love being in this business and we’ve been very lucky.”
Sole DXB, Dubai’s biggest street culture festival, is returning for the fifth time. The two-day event will take place on the weekend of November 18 and 19 in Dubai Design District, and the theme for this year is ‘City of Gold’ – as a nod to Dubai’s souqs and cultural heritage.
Although it started out in 2010 with a focus on shoes and sneakers, Sole DXB has since grown to celebrate all aspects of street culture, from art and music to basketball and fashion.
Brands including adidas, Puma and Nike will all be taking part, and this year’s event will see a retrospective showcase from Maison Margiela Paris. Last year saw the likes of Stan Smith and DMC from Run DMC make guest appearances.
At the event will be an Early Retirement pop-up shop, featuring sneaker brands that aren’t otherwise available here, and you’ll be able to get your hands on the new sneaker collaboration with Puma, the PUMA Clyde x Sole ‘SWAG’. The Swap & Sale store will also be offering footwear from collectors from all over the world.
Taking place at the festival will be the Sole Ball Above All Classic, a winner-takes-all-basketball tournament between 11 teams from the region, which is sponsored by Nike. More announcements about events and music at Sole DXB are expected to follow.
Poor Umm Al Quwain. It’s less than an hour from Dubai and by rights should be visited far more frequently by expats, but most swing by for one reason and one reason alone: to pay a visit to Barracuda and its well-known bottle shop. Next door to this there’s Dreamland Aqua Park, which, coupled with a skydive at the nearby flying school, makes for a pretty decent day trip. Still, few seem inspired enough to stay in the ‘retro’ emirate for a whole weekend. But perhaps if they knew about one particular hotel they’d change their minds.
Sitting on the uninterrupted ocean front is the UAQ Beach Resort. It looks pretty dinky from the outside, but you’ll find little to complain about as you’re whisked through a thicket of palm trees on the back of a golf buggy, past a huge pool that’s footsteps from the shores of a private beach. With spacious seafront villas, a shockingly cheap pool bar and tiny kittens meowing from the bushes, we decide we could quite happily spend the evening here doing very little.
But we had more sinister plans during our visit, and could only spare a few minutes to dump our bags and catch a cab over to the nearby Flamingo Beach Resort. Kitsch and charmingly kooky, the Flamingo is one of the lagoon-facing hotels, offering grassy lawns that lead out to a jetty. Rather like Umm Al Quwain itself, it’s a serene spot that offers so much more. Think boat trips and fishing around the 23-kilometre creek known as Khor Umm Al Quwain, itself dotted with tiny mangrove islands inhabited by flamingoes and cormorants. Yet the hotel has been overshadowed by its claim to fame: the art of spearing crustaceans. In other words, crab hunting.
The notoriety of these nightly expeditions means that the Flamingo’s crab-hunting boat is usually full as it splutters off into the mangrove. We’d be hard-pushed to find a more entertaining evening activity as we’re handed spears and told to jump into the shallow water, before creeping stealthily through the mangroves like Amazonian natives. (Or, more accurately, like spear-wielding expats in frumpy fluorescent-orange life jackets, all wading through knee-deep water stabbing wildly at anything and everything that moves).
Time passes and the thrill diminishes as everyone seems to spear a crab except us. We blame it on the fact that the torches we’re holding are attached to the boat, forcing us to march together like a mass killing machine. ‘How are we supposed to spear anything under these conditions?’ we grumble. But we liven up when we get back to shore, where the crabs and the unlucky squid that got in the way are cooked up for dinner.
The next day we head out on the creek again, chugging past tiny islands, spotting long-limbed pink flamingoes fluttering above the mangroves and the inexplicable sight of dozens of watermelons bobbing in the water.
Aside from killing crabs, a waterpark, flying school, museum, motorplex, ladies’ spa and mangrove islands – enough to keep even the most hyperactive tourist entertained for a couple of days – there’s not much more to do in Umm Al Quwain, but this ends up being part of its charm. Later that day, parked on sun loungers at the UAQ Beach Hotel with palm trees in front of us and frosty beverages in hand, we decide doing nothing isn’t so bad after all.
By car From Dubai, head north along the Ras Al Khaimah Road or Emirates Road and follow the signs for Umm Al Quwain.
By bus Buses run from Deira bus station in Dubai and leave when full. A one-way ticket costs Dhs10 per person.
By taxi A Dubai taxi will cost about Dhs170 from Deira bus station. RAK taxis often wait at the station too, and may prove slightly cheaper.
Where to stay
Barracuda Beach Resort The term ‘beach’ in the name is something of a misnomer – the water at the end of the chalets’ private gardens is a lagoon, and staff advise against swimming. It’s basic but clean, although the main draw for tourists is the low-priced bottle shop next door. Near Dreamland Aqua Park, 18km north of UAQ roundabout on the E11 (06 768 1555; www.barracuda.ae). Studios from Dhs600, two-bedroom chalets from Dhs900.
Flamingo Beach Resort All the basics are present and correct: pool, small garden, little private beach. Rooms are clean and the food at Waves restaurant is pretty good. But the main appeal is the chance to scoot out to nearby islands to go fishing and crab hunting. Lagoon Road, near museum (06 765 0000; www.flamingoresort.ae). Doubles from Dhs573, including breakfast.
Umm Al Quwain Beach Hotel The price may be higher than others in these parts, but we all know you get what you pay for. At the UAQ Beach Hotel you get an immaculate private beach, clean chalets with sea views, a massive pool, a cheap bar and some decent food. Opposite KFC, Al Muroor Road (06 76 66647; www.uaqbeachotel.com). Doubles from Dhs850, including breakfast.
What to do
Dreamland Aqua Park A super, splish-splashing waterpark with various fast and enjoyable flumes. You can also camp on the grounds in cute wooden chalets, or pitch a tent on the campsite, and there’s even a go-kart track outside in the car park if you fancy trying your hand at some motor sport. Bonza! Umm Al Quwain-Ras Al Khaimah Road (06 768 1888; www.dreamlanduae.com). Open daily 10am-6pm (7pm in summer). Admission Dhs100 for adults; Dhs70 for children aged four to 11; under fours free.
Emirates Motorplex Umm Al Quwain-Ras Al Khaimah Road, opposite UAQ Aeroclub (06 768 1166; www.motorplex.ae). Check the website for details of racing schedule. Admission is Dhs25 to watch races The club has five tracks for quad bikes, drag cars, motocross and endurance races, and a 120m by 120m skid pan.
Umm Al Quwain Aeroclub Learn how to fly (or fall out of) planes. Umm Al Quwain-Ras Al Khaimah Road, opposite Motorplex (06 768 1447; www.uaqaeroclub.com). By appointment only.
Umm Al Quwain Fort and Museum Similar to other fort museums across the UAE, but with a better layout, this is worth at least a half-hour stroll. There are archaeological relics, weapons and jewellery on display. Al Lubna Road, Old Town (06 765 0888). Open daily 9am-1pm and 5pm-8pm. Tue, ladies only. Admission Dhs4.
Imar Spa A day spa that also offers overnight deals in glam rooms facing a small private beach, with massage, facials, ayurvedic treatments, colonics et al all available. Lagoon Road, just north of the vegetable market (06 766 4440; www.imarspa.com). Open daily 9am-9pm. From Dhs125 for a 30-minute massage to Dhs4,750 for a seven-night detox and colonic stay. For women only.
Car connoisseurs in the city will be blown away by some of the vintage cars that will be on display on the lawns of Dubai’s most iconic hotel – Burj Al Arab.
A selection of tailor-made luxury vehicles - including a 1955 250GT Competition Berlinetta Sport Speciale and a Rolls Royce Dawn, McLarens, Bentleys and Aston Martins to name but a few – are set to wow even the most discerning collectors in the region.
According to the organizers, this Concours d’Elegance is designed specifically for Dubai drivers, as it will showcase the world’s rarest classics as well as the very best ‘modern bespoke’ cars in the region.
If you’re interested in attending the first edition of Gulf Concours, get in touch with Burj Al Arab to book your spot.
Guests and members will enjoy exclusive access to the hotel’s luxury cabanas on The Terrace, the recently unveiled extension which made headlines across the UAE and abroad for its unmatched lavishness.
As further proof of what’s in store, it’s worth highlighting that the team behind the event recently ran the Concours d’Elegance held at Windsor Castle, which required the approval of than none other than Her Majesty The Queen of England.
Ladies put on your running shoes and start training because the Sixth Annual Dubai Women’s Run is fast approaching.
Starting at 7am (just think how nice and cool the weather is going to be) on Friday November 4, this year’s route starts and ends at Skydive Dubai.
As in previous years, there will be a 5K and a 10K run for participants to choose from.
For the competitive ones out there, these will be the cash prizes for the top performers in both categories:
1st place Dhs10,000 2nd place Dhs7,000 3rd place Dhs5,000 4th place Dhs4,000 5th place Dhs3,000 6th place Dhs2,000 7th place Dhs1,000 8th place Dhs1,000 9th place Dhs1,000 10th place Dhs1,000
Organizers are expecting 2015’s record 4,500-strong turnout to be beaten this year and you can help be a part of that feat.
It’ll be a day to be enjoyed by the whole family, with music and activities for children and food and beverages being served.
There will also be activities and sampling focusing on Health and Fitness throughout the day.
As an added perk, each participant will get two free tickets to the Sun and Sand Sports Fitness Festival, the largest event of its kind in the UAE.
The entrance fee for this year’s Dubai Women’s Run is Dhs150.
Volunteers for the event are also needed so if you want to help out register on the official website.
“The Run is a celebration of women’s achievements and its aim is to help inspire women to discover the positive power of exercise, making physical activity an everyday part of life for women and girls,” Ahmad Al Kamali, IAAF Council member and President of the UAE Athletic Federation said.
Sometimes it can be a huge struggle to find the motivation to keep fit. We’ve all been there, paying for a gym membership that we have little or no inkling of getting our money’s worth from. So if you’re lacking a little inspiration, the Sun & Sand Sports Fitness Fest could help you overcome your lethargy.
Now in its second year, the two-day event is offering a variety of free challenges, healthy cooking shows, competitions and talks from fitness celebrities and elite athletes on Friday November 4 and Saturday 5.
One of the big names to be heading over to Skydive Dubai is everyone’s favourite fitness fanatic Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, whose Lean in 15 programme has made him a millionaire and a famous face in the British media.
Wicks will headline the new Healthy Living Show on the Saturday, giving live cooking demos, inspirational talks and high-intensity interval training sessions. “I had so much fun the last time, so I can’t wait to come back and inspire Dubai withmy brand-new dishes and exercise tips,” he says.
Another addition to the Fitness Fest bill has really captured our imagination, the world finals of the Strongman Champions League. Bought to you this year by Sun, Sand And Sports, the event also supports Team Angel Wolf.
The culmination of 16 gruelling events, some of the biggest stars in the world of strongmen will compete for the title, taking on six challenges in 48 hours.
One of those in the running for the title is Slovenian hope Matjaž Belšak. “It would be a dream for me to win the world title in Dubai. It’s a fantastic city and I can’t wait,” he says.
In a nod to Dubai’s love of all things glistening, the winner will take home 1kg of gold and their share of the Dhs1.3 million prize pot. And we’re sure that all visitors to Fitness Fest will take home some great ideas about how to live more healthily, too.
Dhs40 per day, free for under-16s. Fri Nov 4, 8.30am-8pm; Sat Nov 5, 9am-7pm. Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina, www.fitfest.ae.
Three more fest highlights Inflatable obstacle course
The largest of its type in the UAE, climb walls, pass through hurdles and jump through hoops. Booking is essential.
Phd muscle beach Get tips from professional trainers, take part in lift challenges or receive a personal training programme. And you don’t have to have huge guns to attend...
Ultimate sprint challenge
Hosted by Ultimate Athletics, test how quick you are out of the blocks and post the fastest time over 30m to win a medal and a prize in the U12, U14, U16, U19 and adult categories.